2010 Senior Australian of the Year Cook and restaurateur
From: South Australia
As one of this country’s favourite culinary leaders, whose endless enthusiasm for food has brought joy to so many Australians, Maggie has shown us that cooking is an art form we can all practise every day when armed with a passion for good food. Maggie continues to be recognized for her focus on cooking with seasonal produce, that has in turn, helped to educate so many Australians to make informed food choices. With a career that spans farming, restaurateur, food production, exporting, food writing and television presenting. As Maggie explains, “Superior seasonal produce is key to everything I create. Living in the Valley has certainly taught me a great deal about the rhythm of the seasons, how to delight in fruit and vegetables picked ripe and at their best, and how to maximize the potential of not only what can be grown here, but what is available in the wild too. There is nothing more engaging for a cook than to work closely with the freshest of fresh produce. It continues to be my inspiration and starting point for any new product that comes into the range.” Encouraging visitors to share her love of the Barossa has been a clear advantage for the region, but Maggie’s love of fresh produce has also led to her latest venture with aged care homes and their approach to food. Adding an extra string to her bow, in 2014 Maggie established her own foundation; Maggie Beer Foundation, to provide the pleasure of a good food life for all, regardless of age or health restrictions. The nutritional welfare of those in aged care facilities has been an ongoing concern of Maggie’s for a long time and she is so happy to finally have found the time and people to support her passion. In fellowship with her board of industry leaders, professors and health advisors, Maggie has made it her personal mission to link the latest research of nutrition’s impact on brain health and general wellbeing, with her innate knowledge of what good food can do for everyone’s state of mind; a truly nourishing mix, so much greater than the sum of its parts.